A Look Back in History: Lake Merced

Lake Merced is a fresh water lake in southwestern San Francisco that supplied water starting in the 1860’s. It is now surrounded by a large park (established in the 1950s) and serves as a popular recreational area in The City. It is also a significant stop -over location for migratory birds on the “Pacific Flyway.”…

A Look Back in History: From Horses to Carville to MUNI

As horsecars were moved to the dunes on the western edge of the City, a small community called “Carville-by-the-Sea” was established. Carville was located in what is now the Outer Sunset District. Carville was located just south of the western end of Golden Gate Park.  At about this time, San Francisco’s citizenry began to campaign…

A Look Back in History: Buying Out the Spring Valley Water Company

Interest in municipalizing San Francisco’s water service harkened back to the 1870s. But efforts to municipalize San Francisco water had begun in earnest in 1900-1901. Mayor James Phelan was in office. Subsequent to surveying up-country sources of water, the Mayor, the City Engineer, and the Board of Public Works came to agreement that the Hetch…

A Look Back in History: Pescadero Creek Riparian Rights Offer

Filed under “Coast Streams” with a subject heading of “Riparian Rights,” this short internal memo from Peninsula Supervisor W.B. Lawrence to Spring Valley Water Company General Manager S.P Eastman advocates the acceptance of an offer. Hayward apparently offered up the riparian rights to his property on Pescadero Creek “on several occasions.” This was about 20…

A Look Back in History: The SFPUC and PG&E “Back in the Day”

In 1934, the Hetch Hetchy system brought water to San Francisco, and Hetch Hetchy had been generating power for some time. Its power transmission lines never reached beyond PG&E’s Newark substation. PG&E received this power and delivered the same amount into San Francisco on its distribution system – at a profit. By 1940, San Francisco…